Mushroom Shui-Mai

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Shui-mai, sometimes spelled sui mai; are comely little dumplings, resembling a small drawstring bag partially opened to reveal the filling. Traditionally they are made with pork and shrimp, but my version is meat free and intensely mushroomy. Decorate them with a few green peas and a cilantro leaf peeping out of the open part of the purse.

Shoyu is the most common soy sauce, made from a blend of soy and wheat, and readily available at all supermarkets

Makes25 to 30

Cooking Methodsteaming


Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCocktail Party, game day

Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, hot appetizer

Dietary Considerationegg-free, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low-fat, vegan


Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturecrunchy, light, umami


  • 6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, quartered
  • 4 ounces traditional-style seitan, well rinsed and coarsely diced
  • 4 ounces button mushrooms, wiped and quartered
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (Japanese rice wine) or sherry
  • 1½ teaspoons sugar or Rapadura
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or shoyu soy sauce (see Notes)
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 scallions, roots removed, white and 4 inches of green finely diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh snow peas or sugar snap peas, diced
  • 1/3 cup finely diced jicama
  • About 30 (½ package) 3- to 3½-inch gyoza skins
  • Cooking spray
  • Shelled peas, fresh or frozen
  • Cilantro leaves
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup tamari or shoyu soy sauce (see Notes)
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon minced peeled ginger
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce (optional)


  1. In a food processor, combine the shiitakes, seitan, button mushrooms, cornstarch, mirin, sugar, tamari, sesame oil, and salt. Buzz to a paste, pausing from time to time to scrape down the sides. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the scallions, snow peas, and jícama. Let stand to blend flavors, about 30 minutes.

  2. Set the wrappers on your work counter, covering with a slightly damp clean kitchen towel. Have the filling handy, and a few plates that have been sprayed with cooking spray on which to place the finished dumplings.

  3. Place 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture smack dab in the middle of a round wrapper. Draw the edges up around but not over the filling on all sides, pinching in a little, moistening the upper edge, by moistening your thumb and forefinger into water as you pinch and pleating the edges (see what I meant about the drawstring bag effect?). Flatten the bottom a bit, so that the dumplings can stand upright. Please note that you should see a good little bit of the filling—an inch or so. Repeat until filling or wrappers or both (if you’re lucky!) are used up.

  4. Press 3 peas into the top of the exposed filling. Steam the dumplings in a metal steamer or right on the plate. This works if you don’t have a metal steamer, but do have a pot, wok, or Dutch oven large enough to accommodate the dumpling plate with at least 1 inch of space between the edge of the plate and the pot, through which the steam can rise. Place an upside-down heatproof bowl or empty can in the bottom of the pot to act as a pedestal for the dumpling plate. Pour in water to a depth of about 2 inches or whatever’s adequate so that the bowl or can will project slightly above the water level. Set the dumpling-filled plate on top of the bowl or can. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Steam, tightly covered, until the filling’s hot and the wrapper is soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Remove the shui-mai from the steamer and poke a cilantro leaf onto the top of each one. Serve hot, with dipping sauce.

  6. For the Dipping Sauce: Combine all of the ingredients. Place on the table in small bowls so that each guest has his own private dipping stash. If making a large batch, cover and refrigerate.



I have not made this yet so I cannot rate it.

Include a Photo Include a Photo

Click the button above or drag and drop images onto the button. You can upload two images.

Cancel Reply to Comment

Thanks for your comment. Don't forget to share!


Report Inappropriate Comment

Are you sure you would like to report this comment? It will be flagged for our moderators to take action.

Thank you for taking the time to improve the content on our site.

Sign In to Your Account

Close Window
Sign In with one of your Social Accounts
Sign In using Email and Password